Are IVF babies more likely to have autism?

Are IVF babies at a higher risk of autism?
Research findings on the relationship between IVF and autism have been mixed. While some studies suggest a slightly higher risk of autism in IVF-conceived children, the evidence is not conclusive. Factors such as multiple births, maternal age, and certain aspects of the IVF process may contribute to autism risk, but further research is needed to understand this better.

Last Updated on June 21, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability as a result of differences in the brain. It can hamper the social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. In this article, we will discuss whether IVF babies can have autism. We also examine the factors that can contribute to it.

Can IVF babies have autism?

Maybe. Research findings on the relationship between IVF and autism have been mixed. ART (Assisted reproductive technology) itself is considered to be an independent risk factor for ASD. Some evidence shows that children born through IVF may be at a slightly higher risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than children conceived naturally. However, the evidence is not conclusive, and the risk is still very low. On the contrary, other studies suggested that there is no risk between autism and IVF.  There are several factors that can influence the development of autism. You should discuss about any perceived risk with healthcare professionals. Further research is necessary to understand this complex relationship and its underlying mechanisms.

Which factors might possibly contribute to autism in IVF?

There might be a few factors which can contribute to autism in IVF. Firstly, multiple births, more common in IVF pregnancies due to the transfer of multiple embryos, have been associated with a higher risk of autism. However, studies indicate that the increased risk is primarily attributed to premature birth and low birth weight rather than IVF itself. 

Also, the mother’s age is also a risk factor for autism. Older mothers are more likely to have children with autism, and this risk is even higher in couples who use IVF. Some research suggests that certain aspects of the IVF process, such as the use of fertility drugs, controlled ovarian stimulation, or preimplantation genetic testing, might be associated with autism risk. However, the evidence for this is limited and requires further investigation.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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